The Inaugural Ironman 70.3 Washington is Coming to Maple Valley
While Washington state is known for playing host to many sporting events, this year, there’s a new race on the calendar.
For the first time ever, the community of Maple Valley will be home to the Ironman 70.3 Washington — a premier event in the Ironman community.
On Sunday, September 19th, hundreds of athletes will descend on the area, ready to compete for the distinction of being called an Ironman.
This incredible weekend promises to be an exciting few days for both athletes and spectators, and we’re looking forward to welcoming so many people to Maple Valley.
With a thrilling race and plenty of local fun and flavor, the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Washington is shaping up to be the perfect opportunity to showcase the best of what the Evergreen State has to offer.
“This means so much to the City of Maple Valley and we couldn’t have done it without our community partners!” Mayor Sean Kelly.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from Ironman 70.3 Washington.
What’s an Ironman, Anyway?
If you’re not familiar, an Ironman is a long-distance triathlon. It involves a combination of 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of running.
Often dubbed the hardest and most demanding single-day event for athletes, competitors traverse 140.6 miles, burning upwards of 10,000 calories over the course of their race.
A half Ironman — usually referred to as an Ironman 70.3 like the race being held in Maple Valley — sees competitors completing half the distance of a full Ironman, including 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of biking, and 13.1 miles of running. These races are ideal for those newer to participating in Ironman events.
Ironman events are held across the globe throughout the year. From Germany and Morocco to Auckland and Taiwan, those who are part of the Ironman community are known for traveling far and wide to participate in these races.
As one would imagine, training for an Ironman race is a huge commitment, with racers working for months to be in race-ready shape. The level of effort and dedication required to participate in these events is huge, so having friends, family, and spectators along the course route to offer support is a key part of every Ironman event.
That’s exactly why we’re so excited that for the first time ever we’ll be welcoming Ironman Washington to the community of Maple Valley this fall!
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Washington, as both a participant and a spectator.
What Athletes Need to Know
The Ironman 70.3 Washington event is being hosted in Maple Valley, a smaller suburb just outside of Seattle. Centered around local gem Lake Wilderness Park.
Thanks to its location in the Pacific Northwest, Maple Valley is an ideal spot for a 70.3 Ironman. With moderate temperatures on both land and in the water, you can expect average temperatures of 65F/18C degrees for the land and 68F/20C for the water.
“We are excited to showcase the natural beauty of our area. We are certain that participants (and spectators) of the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Washington will love the swim, bike and run course that have been selected for this race.” – Laura Philpot, Maple Valley City Manager
And Laura should know as she has competed in 7 half (70.3) and 6 full Ironman’s across the country!
The Ironman season is generally winding down to a close at this time of year, so what better way to finish out your season than in a picturesque location?
The race begins on the shores of Lake Wilderness, followed by a ride through the back roads of multiple rural towns, and then capped off with a long and flat run course offering sweeping views of Mount Rainier.
You can check out the maps for each leg of the race here.
The weekend kicks off on Friday, September 17th with athlete check-in at Lake Wilderness Park from 2:30 to 7:00 PM. You’ll be able to visit the Ironman Village and Ironman store and attend a briefing at either 4 PM or 6 PM.
For those arriving Saturday, athlete check-in will be available from 8 AM to 5 PM, with the mandatory bike check-ins available between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Briefings will be offered at 11 AM and 2 PM.
Race day kicks off with gear check-in starting at 5 AM, and the official race time kick-off is at 6:50 AM.
For a full schedule of events, you can get the itinerary here.
Also, don’t forget to check out the Ironman 70.3 Washington Facebook Page for tips, videos of the area, and more.
Just because participating in the Ironman 70.3 Washington isn’t your cup of tea, that doesn’t mean you can’t still take part in the fun.
If you’re interested in getting a bit more hands-on during the race weekend, volunteers are always needed during these events, so check out the Ironman 70.3 Washington website for opportunities to help out.
For those with a loved one competing, the Ironman Tracking App allows you to keep tabs on where they are in the race and see their progress. It also gives you access to the race weekend schedule and sends notifications.
For those simply looking to cheer on the athletes, spectators are welcome throughout the race routes. Join us for the frenzied excitement of the starting line at Lake Wilderness, cheers on racers as they climb the hills on their bikes, or hang out near the finish line to share the joy and exhilaration as athletes complete their race.
Wondering how to spend a few hours while in the area?
Have no fear, Maple Valley has plenty to pass the time.
Seeing as the race centers around Lake Wilderness Park, you can pack a picnic and your favorite book for a leisurely rest on the beach. Or explore some of the amazing local trails accessible and embrace the incredible nature and wildlife the area has to offer.
Join Us At Ironman 70.3 Washington
For those planning to attend Ironman 70.3 Washington in September, doing some planning in advance will help make your weekend as enjoyable as possible.
To find activities around Maple Valley, from cycling and hiking to arts and culture events, explore your options right here.
Looking for the perfect post-race recovery meal or a quaint spot to grab a quick lunch? View a full directory of our local flavors. If sampling local beers, wines and coffees are your priority, we also have a list of all the options right here.
Seeing what the local shops have to offer is always a fun way to pass the time and find some amazing treasures.
Maple Valley and Black Diamond are known for hosting various events, so don’t forget to see what else is on the calendar during the Ironman 70.3 Washington weekend.
For more information about Maple Valley and Black Diamond and what these communities have to offer, the Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce offers a wealth of information to help you ensure your visit to our community is everything you want it to be.